Tuesday, 12 April 2016
Meet shoemaker who designs for Ooni of Ife, Tinubu
Who knew the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, wears locally-made shoes? The king is a regular customer of Adesola Omotayo Benson, an Ikorodu-born shoemaker who is gradually carving a niche for himself. Aside from the Ooni, the All Progressives Congress national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is also his customer.
Talking to ThisDayLive, the unique shoemaker said:
”Well, I had made shoes for APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. But the one that brought me to the limelight was a pair of shoes that I made for Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi. He is a man of humility and peace who believes in the unity of Nigeria. His humility humbled me. He is a young man that encourages others to grow. I don’t know him personally. I just admire him from afar and was looking for someone who knows his size. You know everybody kept telling me it is not possible, and somebody even discouraged me that he doesn’t wear made in Nigeria shoes. That put me off.
I took up the courage and made a pair of half shoe for him and looked for a way to get it across with a proposal on developing a footwear industry in Ile-Ife. I was happy when I learnt that he embraced it and he loved the shoes. Up till date, I have taken six pictures of him wearing the shoes I designed for him. He wore the same shoe when he met with the Cuban Ambassador and wore the same shoe at his traditional wedding to Olori Wuraola in Benin City recently. When he went to see President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, he wore the shoe. That has been my major breakthrough. Since that day, I have been getting calls from people that I should make shoes for them. They said the fact I could make shoes for a man of timber and caliber shows that I can make shoes for them as well.” You can read more here.